Exploratory Synthesis Essay

Decent Essays
Prevalence of Livestock-Associated MRSA among the University Population in Midwestern Kansas Drew M. Zimmerman Department of Biological Sciences, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas 67601 Infectious diseases are quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death in the United States and the world (Morens, 2013). They threaten immunocompromised individuals and are able to cause severe illness in otherwise healthy people. Hospitals and communities have developed protocols in an attempt to prevent further pathogen transmission. One infectious agent that has been at the apex of medical research is Staphylococcus aureus, which is a Gram-positive coccus. This microorganism colonizes the skin, respiratory tract, and nasal passage in about…show more content…
However, via bacterial genetic recombination, many strains have incorporated the resistance gene mecA through the cassette SCCmec (Wielders, et al, 2002). This gene prevents susceptibility to methicillin and its derivatives by enabling transpeptidase to prevent beta-lactamase activity. These genes, and improper use of antibiotics, have led to the positive selection of mecA positive S. aureus, known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). About 1-3% of the general population are persistent carriers of MRSA strains and genetic variance in virulence factors among strains can significantly impact the ability to infect, colonize, and spread from host-to-host. Toxin-mediated virulence factors (such as enterotoxins, toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, α-toxin, and lipoteichoic acid) are key factors in bacteremia that lead to increased symptom severity in MRSA (Gordon and Lowy…show more content…
Humans are capable of being colonized by this microbe, as an intermediate host, allowing further transmission between individuals. Graveland, et al. (2011) identified a statistical link for individuals whom are occupationally exposed to livestock and / or live in close proximity to livestock. Additionally, contaminated foods might further assist in transmission. A few examples include dairy from bovines have breast tissue infection, which, have been shown to transmit and infect bulk tank milk from dairy farms. This has the ability financially cripple dairy farms in most countries, as most dairy farms must dispose of all contaminated milk. Furthermore, slaughterhouse animals and workers are at risk for contaminating food and furthering transmission straight to the dinner table (Normanno et al.,
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